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iKON 2018 CONTINUE TOUR IN SEOUL (Korea Version)


Why You Should Get Your Van Insured.

No matter what type of van you have, you should always make sure to get insurance. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy brand new one, or an old one. You will need insurance. Getting insurance is so important for so many reasons. If you ever get into an accident then having insurance can mean that you are protected, it also protects any other passengers that are in your car. If you don’t have insurance, then you won’t get the compensation that you deserve if you are in an accident.
Miss & Mrs. Cops (2019).
Accidents will happen
No matter how careful a driver you are, there are often things that we cannot control. The accidents might be a minor thing, however, sometimes they can be deadly. Over the course of a lifetime, the average motorist might be in about four accidents. Obviously, this number depends on how much you drive, where you drive and how you drive. Accidents happen regardless of how good the driver is, so even if you’ve been driving your van for years, you can never be too careful.
Running Man episode 429, December 2018.
Damages might occur
The best way to avoid getting your van damaged is to park it off the road in a secure location. Most of the time though, people don’t have a big enough garage to place their van in or even off-road parking. Your van might also be damaged whilst you are out driving for a work-related reason. This is why it is so important to get your van insured, as if anything does happen you can be assured knowing that your insurance will cover you. Depending on what insurance you get, only some types of damages might be covered. So, it’s a good idea to double check all that you can about your insurance so that you know what you have.
Vampire Prosecutor, 2011.
Your van could be stolen
Having your van stolen can be disastrous, not only does it cause a lot of stress and annoyance, but for many people, it can mean a loss of earnings. If you use your van for work, then it is a good idea to make sure that your insurance has a “like for like” policy, as this way you can easily get a replacement van. However, this will only help you get to and from places. So, if your equipment was left in the van when it was stolen, then you need to make sure that you can get your money back.

One way to avoid losing your equipment is to store it in your home overnight, rather than leaving it in the van. If you can empty your van when you leave it, then this is the best thing that you can do. Why risk losing out on your business when there is a simple solution?

You might be thinking that you want to risk it and get cheaper insurance. A lot of people think that just because something hasn’t happened to them yet means that it won’t happen again. However, they are wrong. If you do this then you end up risking an awful lot and it’s just not worth it. Anyone who drives a car, van or motorbike needs to get insurance. For more reasons why you need insurance click here.


Pampered at Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.

The new school year is almost upon us, and I, like most moms, am savoring the last few hours (barely 24 to go! ) of summer. And so before I go back to the daily grind of waking up early, preparing my son's meals, helping him with school work, organizing lecture notes, and writing reviewers and mock exams, I treated myself yesterday to a bit of pampering  at Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.
Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.
The spa is located at Colago Avenue, right across the Community General Hospital. Ironically, this place is just a few meters away from my son's school, but it took me years to finally come and visit. At first, I thought this was just an ordinary nail bar which offers the usual manicure, pedicure, and nail enhancements. I guess that's the main reason why I never bothered to come here despite its 'very accessible location'.
Purple Strawberries at Buena Ventures Trading Post.
My indifference changed to interest when I learned from a friend that Purple Strawberries now offers massage and body care services. My poor, aching back had long been pining for a massage, and I had been meaning to get my nails done for the longest time. And with this salon offering both nail care and massage services, it's like killing two birds with one stone. Yay!
The reception desk/waiting area.
Photo credit: Purple Strawberries.
I booked an appointment for Saturday afternoon, after Yue's karate training. I made it a point to call the salon a day before my visit, because weekends are usually the busiest days for businesses like this. Yue and I arrived a little after 3:30 pm, a few minutes ahead of my 4 pm appointment.
The Nail Bar/Nail Care area on the first floor. 
I was ushered to the Nail Bar on the first floor, where the nail care services are done. I was planning to have the massage first, then the footspa and pedicure later, but the receptionist told me that the schedules got a bit mixed-up; the couple at the waiting area had to be massaged first since they were availing the couple massage at promo rates (Php 500 from 11 am - 4 pm).
Locking in the moisture on my feet with lotion, cling wrap, and a warm towel.
The therapist who was in-charge of me that day was apologetic for the mix-up, and assured me that my nails will be dry before I get my massage. (She used a nail dryer to dry my toenails, lol). At least she did a nice job with my foot spa and pedicure. The foot spa was very relaxing, and I did not feel pain the whole time she worked on my toenails. (Goodbye, ingrown and dry cuticles! So nice to get rid of you, finally!)
The Nail Bar.
I like that Purple Strawberries has a wide selection of nail polish, most of them from imported brands (think Zoya, Orly, and the like). So don't be daunted by the rates if you see their price list. They're pretty reasonable considering the (high) quality of the brands. Aside from the regular manicure and pedicure, they also offer nail stamping, with various stamping images to choose from. I'm not really into nail art since I do house chores, plus the fact that I always wear sneakers when I'm out and about, so I chose a purple Zoya Matte Velvet nail polish instead.
Color selection for Orly Gel Nail Color.
Massages and other body care services are done on the second floor. Their body massage is a combination of Swedish, Shiatsu, and Thai, with rates depending on the duration of the service. A 1-hour full body massage at Purple Strawberries costs Php 350 - still at par with the rates of other spas here in my hometown. I'm not sure if you can request for a specific type of essential oil for your massage, but mine had a minty scent. Something like eucalyptus, which I actually prefer.
The Massage/Body Care area on the second floor.
They also offer hot compress and cupping (ventosa) for an additional Php 125 for each service. I tried cupping for the first time in my life, and oh my goodness, I could feel the months (years, even) of soreness and stiffness being sucked away as the cups were placed on my back. It felt so good! Why have I never tried this before???
The place is dimmer in actual. Very relaxing, imho.
Overall, I enjoyed the massage despite the therapist being a bit heavy-handed. I had to ask her to soften it up a bit on my arms because my skin is rather flimsy and  I get bruised easily, and it was only when I got home that I discovered tiny bruises on my left arm. Nothing a concealer can't handle, but I will most likely request for another therapist next time, lol.
Yue hanging out at the Nail Bar. :)
If you're planning to visit Purple Strawberries with a kid, you'd be glad to know that they have free wifi. Just ask the receptionist for the password, which my son boldly did, haha. This kid would be willing to wait for me hours as long as he has his phone, his power bank, and data/wifi connection.
Buena Ventures Trading Post
Colago Avenue, San Pablo City
(049) 521 2511 / (0995) 1977 037 / (0929) 2515 284 
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 1pm - 10pm 


The 1st Shoshinkan Invitational Tournament + Life Lessons from Karatedo.

Still on a high from last week's belt promotion, the kids of Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna (aka our kids) took on another challenge - their first invitational karatedo tournament.
Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna, represent! 
Hosted by Shoshinkan International Philippines, this event is also a first for the Quezon-based organization. The inaugural tournament was held last Saturday (June 1), at the Sentrong Pangkabuhayan in Pagbilao, Quezon.
The 1st Shoshinkan International Philippines Invitational Karatedo Tournament.
More or less 100 karatekas, mostly from Calabarzon, participated in the event. Most of the karatekas were Shoshinkan practitioners, while some were Shotokan practitioners. Our kids were the only ones who practiced Shito-Ryu, and the smallest delegation at that.
The Voltes V of Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna. :)
Participants listening to the rules and regulations of the tournament.
They say you should 'keep your circle full of quality rather than quantity' - well, these kids proved just that. They may be few, but all of them won medals in the Kata competition. All those grueling hours, days, and weeks of fine-tuning their moves and stances and practicing their kata definitely paid off!
Sensei Louie giving the kids a pep talk before they hit the mat. 
Yue preparing for his turn.
Winners, Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old.
Yue won bronze, while his teammate Kal-el won silver.
Lance, the oldest in their team, also won a silver medal in Kumite (sparring), Intermediate Division.
Medalists, together with Senpai Jolan, Sensei Danny, Sensei Louie,
and Teacher Digbay of Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center.
L-R: Daniel won silver in Kata Novice Division, 9-11 years old;
Kal-el won silver in Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old;
Mark won gold in Kata Novice Division, 9-11 years old;
Lance won silver in both Kata and Kumite Intermediate Division, 12- 14 years old.
Yue won bronze in Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old.
It was a very proud moment for all of us, especially the coaches, who devoted their time and effort in training these kids.
With Sensei Ramil Abragon, head of Shoshinkan International Philippines.
But what makes me even prouder is how Yue has completely embraced the karate lifestyle. There came a point in time when he wanted to quit karate because the training was 'tiring him out', but now, he never misses out on training, even if it meant going to the dojo thrice a week for the past two months.
Yue's achievements this summer - his Green Belt in Shito-Ryu Genbukai,
and his Bronze Medal from the 1st Shoshinkan Int'l Philippines Invitational Tournament.
Karate has also instilled in him these valuable lessons, which has become his guiding force throughout the years and hopefully, for the rest of his life:

1. Never stop learning.
When you practice karate - or any other form of martial arts - you will come to realize that learning is a lifelong process. Learning all the different katas, for instance, will take years; all the more if you're a Shito-Ryu practitioner, which has 90+ katas in the syllabus.

2. Patience is a virtue.
The road from a white belt to a black belt is long and arduous. The kids' latest belt promotion took almost two years to happen, but they patiently learned all the kihons and katas and practiced their kumite skills until they were finally able to prove to their senseis that they are ready to be promoted and are worthy of their new belts.
Yue during his kumite competition.
3. Confidence is key.
By learning their strengths and working through weaknesses, these young karatekas were able to build their self-confidence. As they gain mastery over their skills, they have a deeper understanding of their capabilities, and can assimilate things beyond it. They become empowered, which gives them the confidence to overcome not only their opponents on the mat, but also the toughest situations in life.

4. Hard work brings great rewards.
For the past two months, the kids have been training really hard for their belt promotion test and this tournament. At times, they would even extend their training by an hour or so just so they could nail their katas to a T. 'You reap what you sow' so goes the old adage, and these kids finally reaped the fruits of their labor with their new belts and medals.

5. Discipline is everything.
Some people think that karate is all about kicks, punches, power, and technique, but one of the first and the greatest thing that kids from learn from it is discipline, which is critical for success in any field. Whether you want to be a black belt karateka, a pastry chef, a professional gamer, or even a make-up artist, you must invest a serious amount of time and effort to do so. It’s not always easy, but being disciplined will allow you to weather the storms and keep you focused to achieve your goals.

That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Yue's senseis and senpais for inspiring these kids to work hard and train harder and for helping them to achieve their goals.Thank you Sensei Danny, Sensei Kenneth, Senpai Louie, and Senpai Jolan! Our kids are so lucky to have teachers like you!

Yue is a proud member of the Demuraha Shitoryu Genbukai Laguna, training under Sensei Danny Bualan, Senpai Louie Gelizon, and Senpai Jolan Asia. Classes are held every Saturday at Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center. Come train with us and join our dojo! :)